While many people love the sight of beautiful shrubbery, but few owners are keen on keeping up with the maintenance that these plants require. Thankfully, there are plenty of shrub species that require very little maintenance and minimal watering as well. This article will introduce you to ten of the best low-maintenance shrubs that you can grow in your yard. These are in alphabetical order.
A Few Shrub Maintenance Basics
The ten shrub options we listed above do not require much maintenance each year. However, all shrubs will need some form of care, even if it is minimal. To help you give your shrubs the support they need to perform well, here are a few shrub maintenance basics that you should know:
A tasteful selection of shrubs growing in your foundation bed can do wonders for the overall curb appeal of your home. However, selecting shrubs for a foundation planting plan is not a one size fits all process. Instead, you should choose foundation shrubs based on the unique characteristics of your house. The next few sections will give you a better idea of how to do that.
Choosing Shrubs for One-Story Houses
The shrubs you should plant for a one-story or smaller house are generally different than those you would pick for a larger or multi-story house. For example, if you have a one-story house, it’s usually best to select shrubs that are on the smaller side.
As larger shrubs mature, they will appear out of proportion compared to a one-story house. This can cause your home to look smaller than it actually is, and it can allow your shrubs to appear overgrown and out of place.
On the other hand, shrubs that remain small are more likely to complement the size and proportion of your home’s front façade. Shrub species that reach anywhere from two to six feet tall should work well in those situations.
Choosing Shrubs for Houses with Multiple Stories
If you have a larger home with multiple stories, you have a greater opportunity to incorporate both large and small shrubs into your foundation planting scheme. However, it is still vital to consider the placement of these shrubs.
For example, you should situate larger shrubs at the corners of your home or between windows. Large shrubs that grow directly in front of a window will quickly block the view out as they expand each growing season. On the other hand, it is often permissible to plant smaller shrubs directly below a window as they are far less likely to obscure the view.
When choosing larger shrubs, it is also sensible to consider the plant’s overall form. If you wish to place a larger shrub between windows, it’s better to use one that has a narrower form than one that is more rounded. Likewise, it’s often better to select shrubs that grow more horizontally than vertically for areas directly below windows.
Matching Shrubs to the Style of Your Home
Sizing is not the only factor you need to consider when choosing shrubs for your foundation bed. It is also important to choose shrubs that will match the exterior appearance of your home.
Consider the colors and textures of your home’s façade. Then, select shrubs that have complementary colors and textures.
Matching shrubs to the style of your home can require an artistic eye. However, don’t forget that what matters most is your opinion. After finding a set of shrubs that are the right size for your house, you can narrow down your selection to the ones that have the flowers and foliage that you think looks best.
A Few Popular Shrubs for Foundation Planting Beds
Now that you understand the basics of how to choose shrubs for a foundation bed let’s consider a few popular options. Below are some of the most commonly used shrubs for foundation beds:
As homeowners who take pride in our landscapes, we naturally want to do what is best for the plants that inhabit them. One piece of advice that is often repeated is not to mulch right up to the base of a shrub. In search of a deeper understanding, you may ask yourself, “Why is the mounding of mulch along the base of shrubs harmful?” There are a few important reasons why this practice is not recommended.
Will it really harm my shrubs?
The answer to this is yes, mulching right up to the base of a shrub is harmful and will eventually cause a decline in the health of the plant. Factors such as oxygen deprivation, water retention, and root growth are responsible for this being a bad practice.
Why is the mounding of mulch along the base of shrubs harmful?
Mulch is very effective at retaining water and keeping weeds down. An even layer (3” maximum) is beneficial to the main root mass of a shrub for these reasons. However, this tendency to retain water may cause problems when mulch is mounded against the base of a shrub.
Excess Water Retention-Since mulch exhibits great water retention properties, the inside of a mound of mulch may not dry out in between rain, irrigation, or other waterings. This causes a perfect environment for weakening the protective layers of bark at the base of the shrub. The base of the shrub needs to have access to oxygen, and a waterlogged mound of mulch against the base will reduce the amount that is accessible to the plant.
Disease-Many disease-causing bacteria and fungus can thrive in a moist environment. When the base of the shrub is encapsulated in this soggy mound for long enough, the protective layers of bark may die back. This will leave the plant susceptible to all of the bacteria, fungus, and insects that may have been thriving within the mound of mulch.
Excess Root Development-As stated earlier, mounding of mulch against the base of a shrub is harmful in part due to the decreased availability of oxygen. One side effect of this is the base of the shrub sending roots into the pile of mulch, seeking a proper environment for the intake of oxygen. A tell-tale sign of over mulching is a mass of these roots formed at the bottom of a shrub. What’s worse, is that when a shrub forms these roots and then the mulch-mounding practice is corrected, these roots will die off which will harm the overall health of the tree.
Avoid Killing your Shrubs and Plants
For the health of your beloved shrubs, avoid mounding mulch at all costs. Mounding of mulch along the base of shrubs is harmful to the plant, and will contribute to its decline and ultimately its death. A good rule is to leave a few inches of space between the base of the shrub and the layer of mulch. This will ensure that the base of the shrub is able to perform its duties in balancing the oxygen and moisture intake of the plant. Hiring an expert to help maintain and improve your yard can help you avoid small but lasting mistakes such as mulch mounding. If you have invested in your yard and want to be in safe hands, we can help you keep it as healthy and beautiful as possible!
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Boxwoods have been impacted by numerous insect and disease issues for years. These include leaf miner, mites, root and stem rot diseases. In 2011, the states of North Carolina and Connecticut discovered a new fungal disease that is now known as Boxwood Blight. This is a rapidly spreading disease that can quickly wipe out boxwoods in a landscape. The fungus, Cylindrocladium buxicola, was discovered in Florence, SC and later in an upstate nursery in 2016 according to Clemson Extension. Last year, several cases have shown up in yards in the Greenville area. The most recent case likely came from an out of state landscape company and could have been introduced through pruning tools that were not disinfected.
This disease is fast spreading and difficult to eradicate. Prevention is the best advice, and these are some steps you can take and programs we can offer:
There are numerous diseases that look like boxwood blight. Some of the identification markers are:
Boxwood Blight can look like other pests that you may have already seen in your boxwoods. We offer programs to identify, monitor, and spray for these diseases along with our annual shrub pruning. Below are some photos to help you identify the disease:
A huge thank you to Scott Carlson from Schneider Tree Care for writing this guest blog for us! He is an ISA Certified Arborist at Schneider Tree Care. Check out their website at schneidertree.com.
It’s that time again to start making resolutions! If you’re like me, you’ve probably resolved to eat healthier and exercise more, but again, if you’re like me, those resolutions won’t last long. How about creating some resolutions that we can stick to? Resolve to make 2021 the year that you get the landscape you’ve been wanting for years! It could be easier than you think! Check out some projects that you can make your goal to complete this year!
Add a fire pit
We can’t stress this enough, a fire pit is the perfect outdoor living addition to your back yard. It is such a great center piece to have everyone gathered round. Some use it for warmth, some use it for ambiance, but it is perfect for both. It is especially fun to gather round with the family and toast marshmallows to make s’mores!
Spend more time with your family and let us do the work for you. We have several different package options, but we can keep your lawn looking great all year long. Check out our packages on the home page of our website!
Shrubs are a wonderful addition to any landscape. They add great personality to any home landscape. They also make great border plants!
Who doesn’t love flowers? They add the perfect pop of color to any area. You can also always have fresh flowers in the house when you have a fresh supply out in your yard!
Grow a Garden
Nothing is better than fresh vegetables, fruits and herbs out of the garden. While you can get the most output in the summer, gardens can be grown all year round! There is always something to grow and harvest and I can guarantee it will taste better than anything you can find at the store!
Add a Patio
Patios are a wonderful addition to spruce up the back yard. It is the best investment because you will use it more than you know. We are lucky enough to live in a place where we don’t have too harsh of a winter, so you are sure to use a patio space all year long!
Many of these projects you might feel like you can tackle on your own, but for others you may want our help! We would love to assist you in helping you meet these resolutions in 2021 and beyond. Give us a call today at (864)275-2039!
By: Hannah Raines
Copyright ALL Outdoors 2021
Now is a great time to plant shrubs in your yard. Planting shrubs is a great way to spruce up the look of your lawn! Shrubs come in all shapes and sizes. They range in sizes from short and wide to narrow and tall. You can buy some shrubs that are already full-size, or others that need room for their future growth. Shrubs are also available in many different varieties of color and some can feature berries or beautiful blooms. Not only do shrubs add beauty to your lawn, they are also functional. Shrubs can be planted along your property line to create added privacy and noise reduction.
There are many options of shrubs that you can plant in the Upstate. This month, on our Facebook page, we featured a different type of shrub every Tuesday. Below, you will find every shrub that we featured this month, all in one place!
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We proudly service Greenville, Greer, Taylors, Mauldin, Simpsonville, Five Forks, and surrounding Upstate cities in South Carolina for lawn care and landscaping services. Call us today at 864.275.2039 to see why we are the premier lawn and landscape company of the Upstate.
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